First Router Table

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Project by Vrtigo1 posted 08-22-2010 11:28 PM 3187 views 3 times favorited 12 comments Add to Favorites Watch

This is my first router table, which I’ve been working on for the past month or so. The case is made from 3/4 oak veneer ply, the face frame and doors are red oak, as is the trim for the top. The top itself is two layers of 3/4 MDF contact cemented together covered with white formica. The fence is 3/4 MDF as well, although I might replace it down the line with an oak fence, just for aesthetic consistency. Everything was assembled using pocket screws with the exception of a few brads through the face of the trim boards on the top. It’s on casters to allow for easily moving it around, since my shop is kind of small. The router plate is a JessEm, and I’m pretty happy with it (see my review).

This was my first real FWW project, and I’m happy with the way it came out. There were a lot of firsts in this project for me (raised panel doors, laminate, t-track, etc). I built a little MDF box behind the opening in the fence where the bit sticks up, and attached a shopvac connector. Dust collection at the fence is pretty good, although I still need to build a box around the router inside the cabinet and add a dust fitting there to keep everything inside the cabinet from getting dusty.

I looked at a lot of RT plans online and here on LJ’s, but instead of doing the traditional RT with a bunch of drawers for bit storage, etc, I decided to keep it simple because all of those plans were a bit intimidating. One thing that a lot of RT plans that I looked at were missing was material cost, so I thought I’d include that in mine.

I don’t have an exact list, but from memory, there are rough approximations:
-1 sheet 3/4 oak veneer ply $45
-3/4 red oak, didn’t keep exact totals, but I’d estimate there’s probably about 12-14 bf
-JessEm RT plate approx $50
-Hinges 2 pair at $6/pr
-Door pull 2 at $3.50 ea
-Stain & poly ~$15
-Formica 1 sheet at approx $45
-MDF – not sure how much I used, since I used scraps, but I’d say 1 sheet should be plenty $40
-Locking casters 4 at $4.00 ea
-T-track 3/4×36” section at approx $20
-T-knobs 2 at $1.50 ea
-Glue, misc fasteners, etc approx $10-15

So, that puts the material cost somewhere around the $250 mark, minus the oak

12 comments so far

View Sailor's profile


544 posts in 4509 days

#1 posted 08-23-2010 01:05 AM

Hey that looks darn good to me. You could always build some drawers into the case later on if you want. At least it is functional as it sits.

-- Dothan, Alabama Check out my woodworking blog! Also my Youtube Channel's Facebook page

View RonPeters's profile


713 posts in 4125 days

#2 posted 08-23-2010 01:33 AM

Nice job!

I need one of these pretty bad. Hand holding really sucks!

I like the dust collector! How difficult is it to change bits? I’ve seen somewhere in a video (here?) where they just pushed up on a lever underneath which raised the router up.

-- “Once more unto the breach, dear friends...” Henry V - Act III, Scene I

View Vrtigo1's profile


434 posts in 4236 days

#3 posted 08-23-2010 01:37 AM

Hey ron, it’s a real pain to change the bits right now. My next purchase is definitely going to be a lift.

View Dusty56's profile


11866 posts in 4932 days

#4 posted 08-23-2010 02:11 AM

Nice project : )
Any thoughts on using shorter bolts through the star knobs or slipping some rubber hose over them to help prevent boo-boos ?

-- I'm absolutely positive that I couldn't be more uncertain!

View Vrtigo1's profile


434 posts in 4236 days

#5 posted 08-23-2010 03:47 AM

Hey dusty, that’s a good idea. Next time I have some time to kill I’ll grind the bolts down so they’re a bit shorter. The bolts you see in the picture are the ones that came in the packages with the star knobs from woodcraft. I think I have some extra rubber sleeves, the kind that come with the white wire mesh shelves you get at HD to go over the cut end of the shelves to hide the sharp edges. They should work perfectly, assuming they fit the 1/4” bolts.

View fernandoindia's profile


1081 posts in 4188 days

#6 posted 08-23-2010 05:12 AM

Looks great, with that piece of furniture you have no excuses. Nothing can intimidate you. Go ahead !!

-- Back home. Fernando

View RonPeters's profile


713 posts in 4125 days

#7 posted 08-23-2010 07:33 AM

Hey Vrtigo1 how does the ‘lift’ work? Is that something you have to make, or are they commercially available?

I’ve never seen one up close, so I’m learning about it.

-- “Once more unto the breach, dear friends...” Henry V - Act III, Scene I

View shopmania's profile


702 posts in 4426 days

#8 posted 08-23-2010 05:05 PM

Nice looking project. Can you use a lift with a JessEm plate? I am still using a cheap table I bought at Lowes, and would love to have one of these.

-- Tim, Myrtle Beach, [email protected] Just one more tool, that's all I need! :)

View Vrtigo1's profile


434 posts in 4236 days

#9 posted 08-23-2010 07:37 PM

Jessem has a lift that fits in the same opening. I’m probably going to bite the bullet and buy their lift and a 7518 to go with it.

View MikeOB's profile


89 posts in 4365 days

#10 posted 08-23-2010 10:19 PM

Very nice! Would like one just like it.

-- Mike, Portage, WI

View John Fleming's profile

John Fleming

29 posts in 4375 days

#11 posted 08-24-2010 01:27 AM

Very nice table. I also just finished mine about 4 months ago and just used it to do a cope and stick door.
I bought a door panel set and it took about 2 days to figure it out. I have to say you will like the results.
Good luck with the table and whatever you build. Doesn’t it feel good to have it finished…..

Here is my link if you have time to look.

-- Woodworker in Progress, Oceanside CA

View Bob, Oregon's profile

Bob, Oregon

93 posts in 4636 days

#12 posted 08-24-2010 07:44 AM

Beautiful work! I really like the doors. I finished mine about 2 months ago and it was quite a project. I can appreciate the work you put into it!

Man, they sure do make a lot of operations easier though, don’t they?

-- 73, Bob

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